The Colorado Rockies will try to escape last place in the National League West by completing a sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who will be looking to end a 12-game road losing streak when the teams meet on Sunday at Denver.
The Rockies, who are a half-game behind the Diamondbacks for last place in the division, have assured themselves of their second series win at home this season against Arizona.
They had lost 10 of their previous 13 games before facing the Diamondbacks this weekend.
Colorado manager Bud Black said after Saturday’s 7-6 win that left fielder Raimel Tapia’s diving catch in the seventh inning with the bases loaded for the last out was a spark the Rockies needed.
“One of the better plays I’ve seen,” Black said.
Added right fielder Charlie Blackmon, who hit a two-run home run in the game: “Big catch. That was huge. We needed that catch.”
The Diamondbacks are in the midst of their longest losing streak on the road since losing a franchise-record 14 straight from May 18-June 18, 2010.
They have lost their past seven games and 10 of their past 11. They scored only seven runs in the previous six games of the losing streak before scoring six times on Saturday.
Josh Rojas, who went 3-for-5 with a double on Saturday, said the Diamondbacks showed signs of breaking out of their hitting woes with their six runs on 12 hits.
“The offensive explosion that we know we have in our back pocket, it was good to see it come out today,” Rojas said. “Just to see our offense put together hits in the same inning and put runs together, it feels good.”
The pitching matchup Sunday features right-handers Tyler Widener (1-0, 2.82 ERA) of Arizona against Jon Gray (4-4, 3.48).
Widener, who has pitched 22 1/3 innings in four starts this season, was activated from the injured list Saturday after being out with a groin injury. He had been sidelined since April 22.
He will make his first career start against the Rockies at Coors Field after pitching in relief three times in Phoenix against them, going 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 3 1/3 innings.
“I’m definitely very excited to come back,” Widener said of returning from the injured list. “It’s a long season. All these teams, there are a lot of guys that are injured throughout the league right now. We hit a little bump in the road right now, and we’re going to turn things around soon and go on a nice little run here.”
Gray has lost three of his past four starts, including at Arizona on April 30, when he allowed 10 hits and five runs in six innings in a 7-2 loss.
But has thrived at Coors Field, including throwing 6 2/3 innings against Arizona on April 8 when he allowed only one run on two hits in a 7-3 win.
In his career against the Diamondbacks, he is 5-6 with a 5.05 ERA in 76 2/3 innings spanning 14 starts.
–Field Level Media